Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Trump Supports 25-Cent Fuel Tax Increase to Fund Infrastructure

James Downie | The Washington Post James Downie | The Washington Post
Charlie Simmons | 16 February, 2018, 07:02

Carper, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said he was surprised that Trump raised the idea of the fuel tax increase several times during a meeting with a dozen Republican and Democratic lawmakers from key House and Senate committees.

"While there are a number of issues on which President Trump and I disagree, today, we agreed that things worth having are worth paying for, and the president even offered to help provide the leadership necessary so that we could do something that has proven hard in the past".

Conservative groups warned against the calls for a tax increase.

President Donald Trump invited leaders from both parties to the White House to build a coalition around his idea to "re-build" America's bridges, roads and airports.

"I'd hate to see a new tax siphon off 20 percent of the $1,000 tax reform bonuses back to the swamp this year", said FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon.

"The president made a living building things, and he realizes that to build things takes money, takes investment", DeFazio said.

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"He talked about having an infrastructure plan but what we got was really paper thin", he said.

For highways, that means the White House plan would completely flip the current 80-20 federal to state and local funding split for many projects.

Officials have been mulling an increase in the federal gasoline tax for months as a means to pay for the infrastructure package.

Republicans might not be so willing to go with a plan that shifts the infrastructure funding burden to state and local taxpayers, but some members of the GOP caucus are also loathe to raise federal revenues, especially the gas tax, which hasn't been increased in 25 years and now falls short of raising enough money for existing transportation programs. Tom Carper, a Democrat from DE who attended the meeting and has advocated for gradually increasing the levy. The trust fund is forecast to go broke in 2021.

"You're seeing there's an appetite for fixing structural problems", says Friedberg, "and this president, he's not an idealogue about this and wants to get stuff done with infrastructure".

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